Product Review: The Kindle

E-readers have only been around for a few years, but they’re already changing the way we read—and they’re changing the way kids read, too. The market has several e-readers to choose from, but the Kindle is the most popular. For children, the Kindle can be a great way to learn to read, as well as an incentive to use technology. The device has its pros and cons, but the Kindle is a solid, exciting way for kids to get into reading.

The highs
Whether your child is just learning to read, or your little bookworm is looking for more challenging reading, the Kindle is perfect as a learning tool. Special features, including the Read-to-Me feature and the built-in dictionary, allow kids to hear how words are pronounced and look up a word if they don’t understand it. And it’s an especially useful tool for home school and online school students, because it allows them to take their textbooks wherever they go.

Turning pages is a breeze: both sides of the device have buttons that allow the reader to navigate backward and forward. And for kids who are learning how to write, the type on every book is adjustable so that they can easily see the words they’re reading.

The selection of material available on the Kindle is staggering: more than a million books are available for download, with thousands of selections for ages from toddler to young adult. And if you’re hesitant to purchase a particular book without taking a look at it, you can download free samples of every e-book available through Amazon.

The lows
While this is a great way for kids to take their books with them wherever they go, there is the little issue of the Kindle being only black and white. For your little ones whose libraries are full of picture books, this is a drawback; photos and illustrations are just as clear and crisp on the Kindle, but the loss of color can be a deal breaker for some children.

The keyboard, made for adult hands, will be hard for young children to use—the buttons are small, but sometimes require pushing firmly to input data. The buttons on the Kindle DX—the larger Kindle with a 9.7-inch screen—are larger, but the DX might be a little too big for your kid to handle.

The Kindle also plays Audible audiobooks—so if you have an Audible account, you and your child can listen to books together. But the download time is much slower for audiobooks than it is for “regular” books. Of course, the files for audio books are much larger, but waiting for a book to download can become a bit of a pain.

Amazon has been at the forefront of providing readers with new ways to interact with their literature, and the Kindle is the latest and best gadget for bookworms of all ages. It’s still a good idea to take stock of all the e-readers available and choose the one that’s best for you—but, dollar for dollar, the Kindle is the best value.

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  1. I have been holding off on getting a Kindle because I still like flipping pages, reading the back cover, etc. ONe day!